Positive Effects of Aquaculture to the World Economy

Aquaculture is described as the farming of aquatic organisms. This practiced has been regarded to as the agro-industrial endeavor with the highest economic growth rate in the world for a time relationship back about 4 decades. Since 1970 until 2008 aquaculture thru the production of aquatic organisms has grown at a charge of 8.3% annually as in contrast to the 2.9% of livestock and 2% of fisheries. According to current statistics, the yearly aquaculture manufacturing is currently at over 60 million tons. The income collected has generated about 85 billion dollars. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization’s facts of 2016, the population of the world has grown through 6.3% from 2004 to 2009. At the other hand, it reported that the production of aquatic organisms by aquaculture grew by 31.5% during the same period. This is an indication of the sustainability of aquaculture whereby aquaculture is growing at a faster rate than the human population growth. However, there is a need to understanding its sustainability. This is because sustainability needs to mean the achievement of the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future. Various researchers including aqua-culturists both private and governmental have developed sustainability strategies. This paper is will review of the positive effects of aquaculture to the global economy by creating a focus on its impacts. Furthermore, the paper will analyze the current aquaculture production and summarizes some of the problems that accompany aqua-cultural production globally.

Economic Advantages

Food security and Healthy Food Source The first and most common advantage of aquaculture is food security. Aquaculture has been referred as a back bone of various economies of the world because it has not only greatly benefited humanity, but also impacted the environment positively. As a feature of food security, seafood produced by fisheries and aquaculture has contributed for over 2.9 billion people globally with over with 20% of average animal protein. Through the farming of the sea food, the freshwater or brackish water species have improved significantly. According health experts, aquatic product have significant nutritional quality. They state that they are the source of important micronutrients especially for people from developing countries who face risks of malnutrition. Countries that engage in aquaculture are sure of food security. Unlike agriculture, aquaculture is more sustainable and provides enough food. People have been seen to depend entirely on aquaculture even in developing countries (Brander, 2007). Trade Besides the nutritional qualities of aquaculture products, the products have also been known to be viable commodities even for an international market. In developed countries such as Canada, fish and shellfish exports earn more revenue than the usual export products such as tea, coffee, tobacco, meat, cocoa, rice, and rubber. In most cases, the revenue collected from aqua-cultural activities surpasses those from some other economic activities like agriculture. The main reason for this is that aquaculture products have high price market as the bioenergetics of some of those aquatic products. However, there still exist critics who claim that aquaculture is not sustainable economic activity. The perception is brought about by the scientific community who cite some environmental concerns.


Unlike agriculture, aquaculture does not need too much land, water and other resources. Furthermore, aquaculture is not season sensitive for instance since fish are cold blooded they do not die off in the winter. This mean that maintenance of aquaculture is less because they don’t need additional energy to cope take care and sustain hence less input and more output. Aquaculture is one of the sectors that are growing rapidly around the world and especially in the US. It is earning the country immense revenue while not significantly harming the environmental. According to Godfray et al., (2010), the environmental conservation is dependent operation of any given farm and whether or not it has set up sustainable methods. For instance, a farm that keeps the farmed fish away from the general wild fish population stands a chance of conserving ecological and environmental impacts. At the other hand, a farm that has an unsustainable amount of fish risks spreading disease or infection within and without the farm. There is a need for decisiveness and diligence when using GMO, antibiotics, or other inorganic products in farms. The sustainability of aquaculture can be seen in Fish farming whereby it can be practiced at any scale, large scale or household-sized setups (Allison et al., 2009). There are three major benefits of the development of aquaculture one is them is the decrease in the prices of some fish species, second is the improvement in the quality and the creation of new products. For example, in the UK the Aquaculture mainly in the case of salmon rearing has made the retail prices to drop over the last 5 years. Moreover, the salmon products are now more assessable and are in expansive types of species. However, the continued drop in market price, along with the surplus nature of the product coupled with the competition from non-EC producers may eventually threaten the sustainability of the industry. The third benefit is the viability of the sector, for instance, aquaculture especially the farming of shellfish production has seen a grown sense of security for consumers who depend on the high-quality product with minimal health risks. In the Netherlands, in the case of the large-scale production of muscles, the sector has developed and maintained a good reputation of top grade products. The products stand a good chance of actively participating in product differentiation that will be based on quality. According to Subasinghe et al., (2009), sustainability of aquaculture refer to examples such as the following; in some aquaculture programs such as salmon farming, the fish being produced need a lot of feed. This means there will be a need for a lot of fishmeal which mainly consist of other fish species. This will then translate reduced number smaller fish to for improved number of big fish. The critics state that through this there is wastage of energy and protein. Fish such as the anchovies and the herring are the most common source of fishmeal and oil in feed. Because of this, the fish have been overexploited in wild fisheries. In order to make feeding of the fish more sustainable, farmers can use trimmings produced in processing seafood for humans instead of the fishmeal and fish oil that have been known to be exploitative. Through this the farmers would be recycling, this practice seems to be gaining popularity in the feed industry. Researchers have established that it is possible to substitute plant proteins for fishmeal in feed. However, this change in the nutritional feed may lower beneficial omega-3 fatty acids that are normally found in forage fish. This in the long run will affect the final product whereby the health befits of eating fish will be lost.


According to a statistic carried out in 2006, Aquaculture and fisheries was found to be a source of employment for up to 43.5 million people. This statistics also indicated that over 520 million people depended on revenue from aquaculture. In the rural, coastal and aboriginal areas of Canada, over 90% of depend on agricultural activities and aquaculture is the most common activity. The development of Aquaculture has proven to be a viable economic and social force in these places. Through the activity, the locals have found a meaningful job security and have given the youth a reason to remain and develop their rural communities. Moreover, since the establishment of aquaculture in the Canadian coastal communities, the community has undergone significant revitalization. A study by the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada established that a good number of people were living in third world conditions because they lacked employment. The development of aquaculture has significantly impacted the some of the communities that have received aquaculture sensitization programs. In British Columbia for instance, aquaculture has helped a community of people known as the Kitasoo to improve their employment levels, now only 20% of them are unemployed (Barton & Fløysand 2010). The generation of job opportunities in developing countries is normally involves the participation of local and national administrations. The administration will help in the funding and set off of the development programs through various initiatives. For instance, in Scotland, through government initiatives, the aquaculture provides over 5,000 people. These are people working on farms and in associated industries such as feed supplying factories and fish processing companies. Through this, there are a good number of employment rates and a significant employment multiplier effect. In the whole country the aquaculture sector has provided jobs for over 53,000. France is known to have the largest aquaculture employment rate. It has been found the industry has provided employment both directly and indirectly to over 25,000 people. Shellfish farming provides the most jobs in France. However, the introduction of technology through automatic machines threatens these jobs. Germany and Italy have also been found to provide significant jobs through aquaculture (Godfray et al., 2010).


As mentioned, aquaculture has been used to develop and stabilize the rural areas. The creation of employment opportunities has been seen to significantly aid the struggling economies especially in rural areas. This has been the case in countries such as Scotland and Ireland. For countries such as Spain and France, the shellfish aquaculture industries has been considered labor-intensive and has provided full-time and part-time employment for the locals. However, specialists have raised concerns given some of the circumstances under some of the aquaculture development programs. They state that ill-motivated administrations can lead to the development of unsatisfactory results or outcomes. On the other hand, economists believe that aquaculture needs to be set up and fostered as sustainable economic strategy. This means that the programs need to be decisively evaluated through economic, technical, and social perspectives. This kind of evaluation will enable the plan for resource sink risk, consumer capital, labor, and intermediate products. Failure of this may lead to serious repercussions, for example, a case in Sub-Saharan Africa by the European government where over US$I00 million was invested in development projects back in the 1980s. These programs never bore any significant fruits as there never was any improved aquaculture in the area. Currently, the problems facing salmon production mainly center on the lack of aquaculture development. Efforts to improve aquaculture have been observed to be focusing on economic strategies. This has included strategies such as regional selective assistance schemes that offer capital investment for development programs. There has been a recommendation to include setting up of strategies that will target industrial development and structure. Economists have pointed the possible consequences of the short-term social objectives. According to them, the social targets such as employment may affect viability and profitability especially for the enterprises do not set up long-term strategies. The enterprises that are regarded to be financially stable have a fighting chance in light of the adverse environmental changes, only the financially strong businesses will meet their social and economic objectives (Dunning & Lundan 2008).


Various scholars have developed and suggested different strategies into improvement of the sustainability of aquaculture. In this respect, there is a need to establish environmental compliance policies. These policies will make aquaculture take on conservative practices. Aquacultures as numerous benefits, the major concerns are the environmental impacts. Enterprises and individuals who practice this need to implement better practices, once this is achieved the next step would be to set up sustainability programs. Most of the recommendation involves the development of an adequate culture system such as the use of the appropriate feed and practices, the introduction of bioremediation systems, reduced dependency on fishmeal and fish oil, effective effluent disposal mechanisms, improved sustainability and compliance, and pushing for improved legislation and research for better aquaculture practices.


1. Allison, E. H., Perry, A. L., Badjeck, M. C., Neil Adger, W., Brown, K., Conway, D., ... & Dulvy, N. K. (2009). Vulnerability of national economies to the impacts of climate change on fisheries. Fish and fisheries, 10(2), 173-196. 2. Barton, J. R., & Fløysand, A. (2010). The political ecology of Chilean salmon aquaculture, 1982–2010: A trajectory from economic development to global sustainability. Global Environmental Change, 20(4), 739-752. 3. Brander, K. M. (2007). Global fish production and climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(50), 19709-19714. 4. Dunning, J. H., & Lundan, S. M. (2008). Multinational enterprises and the global economy. Edward Elgar Publishing 5. Godfray, H. C. J., Crute, I. R., Haddad, L., Lawrence, D., Muir, J. F., Nisbett, N., ... & Whiteley, R. (2010). The future of the global food system. 6. Subasinghe, R., Soto, D., & Jia, J. (2009). Global aquaculture and its role in sustainable development. Reviews in Aquaculture, 1(1), 2-9.

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